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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.


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    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    e-books and e-book readers

    The new e-book reader from iRex Technologies (an offshoot of Philips), the iLiad, caused quite a stir at both of our e-book workshops and at the UKeiG stand (where it was promoted to 'most-wanted handheld').
    Although not due to be launched until April, the pre-production model was provided with a slideshow so that users could see the quality of the black-print-on-white-screen and decide for themselves that this was indeed quite close to a print-on-paper reading experience. The iLiad will be capable of holding about 200 books or 30 newspapers and 30 books and is expected to be supplied with a dictionary, the wikipedia, a small selection of free e-books from Gutenberg and some of those strange number puzzles taht everyone seems to do! Purchased books are delivered via the iRex Delivery System (iDS) where they are encrypted to protect digital rights so that it will be impossible to copy them from iLiad to iLiad. Whenever a user is in a WiFi area, pressing a small button will update the content. A range of formats including PDF, HTML, and txt will be readable on the iLiad; which also sports the ability to cut-and-paste, draw (using a stylus), take notes (via the stylus and a virtual keyboard), and store the user's own documents.
    Watch this space for details of the launch!

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